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Aspen

Requested by Kevin, this seems to be a classic Ikuko relationship lament.

Japanese Karaoke English
Aspen Aspen Aspen
眠れないのは 闇夜のせいではなく
静けさでもなく きみのやさしさ
nemurenai no wa yamiyo no sei de wa naku
shizukesa de mo naku kimi no yasashisa
The reason I can’t sleep isn’t the darkness of night
Or the silence; it’s your kindness
きみの言葉が この手にたくさん
こぼれそうだよ 手放せないんだよ
kimi no kotoba ga kono te ni takusan
koboresou da yo tebanasenainda yo
My hands are full of your words
About to overflow, I just can’t let go of them
どこまでもゆこう きみは手をのばすのに
ぼくは まだ行くてを決められない
doko made mo yukou kimi wa te wo nobasu no ni
boku wa mada yukute wo kimerarenai
While you stretch out your hands, saying let’s go through it all
I still can’t choose my path
透きとおる きみの目に映るぼく
そのまま闇のなかに包まれてたい
sukitooru kimi no me ni utsuru boku
sono mama yami no naka ni tsutsumaretetai
Reflected in your clear eyes,
I just want to stay enveloped in this darkness
そう 考え過ぎかな sou kangaesugi ka na Yes, maybe I’m thinking too much
目に見えるもの あい色に染まる
きみの呼吸に合わせてみてる
me ni mieru mono aiiro ni somaru
kimi no kokyuu ni awasete miteru
What my eyes see is dyed indigo
I try matching your breaths
このままずっと 笑顔も泣き顔も
なくなってもいい 静けさでいい
kono mama zutto egao mo nakigao mo
naku natte mo ii shizukesa de ii
For smiles and tears to go away for good
Would be fine; silence is fine
きみと過ごした ささやかな時間さえ
すべてなかったことになりそうなほど
kimi to sugoshita sasayaka na jikan sae
subete nakatta koto ni narisou na hodo
What little time I spent with you
Could seem like it never even happened,
こころが張り裂けそうでこわい
きみのやさしさに答える言葉がほしい
kokoro ga harisakesou de kowai
kimi no yasashisa ni kotaeru kotoba ga hoshii
I’m scared my heart might break
I want the words to answer your kindness
今日も 朝日を見たなら kyou mo asahi wo mita nara If today, too, I saw the sunrise
きっと 落ち着いてくるさ kitto ochitsuite kuru sa I’m sure I could calm down
考え過ぎかな kangaesuki ka na Maybe I’m thinking too much
きっと なんでもないんだろう kitto nandemonaindarou I’m sure it’s nothing

Ikuko news

Here’s some stuff that Ikuko has been up to lately.

New on the discography page is the soundtrack that Ikuko created for a stage adaptation of the comic book Cocoon by Kyou Machiko. The album is available on Ototoy along with your choice of one of four special illustrations. Many of the songs are arrangements of existing Harada Ikuko or Clammbon songs, or covers of other acts. This seems to be the first release on which Ikuko plays a significant amount of strings; she has guitar, bass, and cello credits on various tracks.

You can also watch some clips of Ikuko on the new TV show Artist with Ômiya Ellie. She performs “Ginga” with a jazzy middle section by herself, then Ellie and Ikuko perform a really sweet violin & piano piece that they wrote together called “Kawaru”.

Baan!

Here is some fun news: Ikuko has collaborated with Thai comic book artist Wisut Ponnimit on an album of folky acoustic songs called Baan — that means “home”, according to some Thai-speaking friends of mine (who have also offered to help translate any songs that contain Thai for us).

Check out the promo video:

It looks like Ikuko has come a long way from the scene in En where she puts on a guitar for the very first time!

There is also a guest appearance by Pod, from a band called Moderndog which is apparently very popular in Thailand.

The release date is December 4, and it will be commemorated by a live performance at Ikuko’s cafe, Kichimu. The physical release looks to be a deluxe affair, with a CD and DVD, and a book of Ponnimit’s art. It’s not clear yet whether the album will be available on iTunes internationally, but it does look like Ototoy will have it.

You can see more, including the video for “Soft Cream” at ikutum.com.

Update: Looks like it is on iTunes Japan but not iTunes USA. If you buy at Ototoy, you’ll get a huge PDF of the booklet with super-cute art and official English lyric translations.

cocoon Soundtrack

cover art

by Harada Ikuko
Soundtrack to stage production of the comic by Kyou Machiko

  1. Rokugatsu no Semi
  2. Furusato (Minna ver.)
  3. Kinjo no Piano
  4. Platform
  5. Re-Ahoj! (Mum mix)
  6. Mayu no Naka no Kyoushitsu
  7. Kehai to Yoin
  8. Kantanfu to Tameiki
  9. Nanba-san no têma
  10. Momo no têma
  11. Danchi no Piano
  12. Burgmüller
  13. Michikakete Nao Hibiku
  14. Kou-chan no têma
  15. Atarashii Hito (Minna ver.)
  16. Kazeiro Natsukoi (Mum mix)
  17. Heart of Gold (Momo mix)
  18. Gama Noise
  19. Walking in the Rhythm (Mum mix)
  20. Gama Beat
  21. Shichigatsu
  22. Atarashii Hito (Ikuko ver.)
  23. Battle Field
  24. Aoi Yami wo Massakasami ni Ochiteyuku Nagareboshi wo Shitteiru (Mum mix)
  25. Onoshima Beat
  26. Tsuki no Yoru
  27. Atarashii Kotoba wo Hanashidasu Hitobito
  28. Namiyosete (reprise)
  29. Furusato (Ikuko ver.)
  30. Satoko’s song
  31. Tu Maa Di
  32. Rokugatsu no Nami

Live Report: Clammbon at Kaminari 5656 Kaikan in Asakusa, August 29–30, 2013

So I’ve been a Clammbon fan for 13 years, ever since my serendipitous encounter with their music on my first-ever visit to Japan. At some point they became my favorite band, and I started maintaining this fan site to spread the word about them 10 years ago. But except for a fleeting half hour or so that barely counts, until recently I had never managed to see them in concert. Somehow my nearly-annual trips to Japan just never seemed to line up with a Clammbon show.

Afraid that that might remain the case forever, after viewing one of my collection of Clammbon concert deeveedees I marched into the next room to make a declaration to my wife: “I am gonna see Clammbon play live someday before I die.” She took it in stride, casually suggesting that we wait until they announce dates for their next tour and then buy plane tickets.

All right. That was easier than I’d expected.

After a tense wait, Tokyo dates came out for the “Where Shall We Play Tour 2013”. On these tours, the band solicits ideas from their fans for unique and intimate venues where you wouldn’t normally go see a rock & roll show. A 1900s drama theater, the school that inspired the anime K-On, a former hostess club… the more unusual, the better. The shows I was aiming for were a pair of nights in Asakusa at a traditional theater in a community center, capacity 325. This is a band that these days can draw several thousand fans to an outdoor venue like Yomiuri Land East or the Ryougoku Kokugikan. Seeing them in such close quarters would be a treat indeed. It was too late to go through the byzantine process to join the fan club and get early ticket access, so I took my chances with the similarly byzantine public ticket lotteries… and somehow secured a ticket for each night. Twitter was crowded with people disappointed that they’d failed to get even one ticket, so I felt miraculously lucky.

Hop forward several months and I am in Tokyo, my three-week stay nearly at an end. I forgot to charge the wi-max receiver, so I had to navigate to Asakusa and to the theater without Internet access. Of course I got wildly lost and was almost late for showtime.

Kaminari 5656 Kaikan:
Kaminari 5656 Kaikan

Not a lot of people in front of me:
Not a lot of people in front of me

Not a lot of people behind me either:
Not a lot of people behind me either

When the curtain rose, we saw not Clammbon but this woman sitting in the middle of the stage in kimono, among all the rock & roll gear. She quickly assured us, “don’t worry, this is a Clammbon concert. But to get you into the Asakusa spirit, I’ll be playing you a few songs first.” It was Hirayama Yoshiko, a shamisen player. (Photo from Mito’s tweet.)

Yoshiko

After two lively shamisen songs, the band showed up on stage and I had my first really emotional moment. I was in the same room as Clammbon! It was real. I got a little misty.

August 29th Setlist 

(Image from Mito’s tweet)

29th

Intro by Hirayama Yoshiko

  1. Mizu no Fukasa
  2. Shinagawa Jinku
Main Set
  1. Hanasaku Iroha
  2. Good Time Music
  3. Lady Madonna
  4. Yobigoe
  5. U&I
  6. Odayaka na Kurashi
  7. Shiawase Negau Kanata kara
  8. Goldwrap
  9. Vital Sign
  10. Chicago
  11. Namiyosete
  12. KANADE Dance
Encore
  1. I’m Getting Ready
  2. Surround
  3. Re-Zansho
The banter started early, with Mito and Ikuko observing that Daisuke has been inserting unexpected drum breaks at dramatic moments in certain songs lately. But Daisuke clarified that usually it’s just because he dropped a stick.
 
On “Lady Madonna”, which has some incorrect lyrics on the album version (“feel” instead of “feet”, for instance), Ikuko sang the correct lyrics! She must have been clued in some time since the album was recorded.
 
Mito introduced “Goldwrap” as an exceptionally difficult song to play, especially on piano. Ikuko had to stand up from her seat to play it, and you could tell that it took all the fierce concentration she could summon. The song went very well, and at the end the audience applauded all the more for knowing what a challenge it was. She melodramatically basked in the response.
 
Much of first night’s set felt pretty mellow and straightforward, probably because of the gentle setlist flow, including a string of moderate-energy covers. People sat down for much of the first half. The people around me weren’t all that active, so I didn’t allow myself to get too carried away with dancing and singing along.
 
Once it came to “Vital Sign” and “Chicago”, though, the place seemed to really come alive. I found myself crying again now that I was witnessing such Clammbon classics in person. When Mito smashed his bass against the speaker cabinet at the climax of “Vital Sign”, I could see wood splintering off of it. The rest of the main set carried that energy onward and made me wish the whole show had been that way. For “Nami Yosete”, the band got everyone swaying and singing the chorus together.
 
After the break, the band members each came out in a differently-colored Clammbon shirt, drying off with a Clammbon towel. Ikuko completed the merchandise plug by pretending to answer a call on her phone, enrobed in a Clammbon iPhone case. I always knew it, but Mito imploring us to buy merch if we enjoyed the show and wishing that he could afford a really nice traditional Asakusa meal reminded me that that bands of this scale don’t make a ton of money.
 
For the encore, Mito gave us an extended lesson in gospel backup singing so that we could help out with “I’m Getting Ready”. He divided the audience into male and female singers, encouraging the males to “pretend to be about 20 kilograms heavier” in order to make up for the feminine bias of Clammbon fans. It felt a bit odd to be the one Westerner in the room, singing that English backup vocal with perfect pronunciation.
 
“Re-Zansho” was a special treat that the band broke out for the first time this tour, judging that it was about the right time to begin performing a song about lingering late-summer heat. And the emotional intensity of it was just right to finish off the show.
 
I made my way to the merch table for a shirt and iPhone case of my own. The prices (¥2500 and ¥3500) were of course kinda absurd, but I see it as more of a donation than a purchase. I’m quite willing to pay an extra pile of yens to a band that’s brought me this much happiness.

August 30th Setlist 

(Image from Mito’s tweet)

30th

Intro by Hirayama Yoshiko

  1. Kyou wa Ryougoku
  2. Shinagawa Jinku
Main Set
  1. The New Song
  2. Rough & Laugh
  3. Hanare Banare
  4. Desire -Jounetsu-
  5. U&I
  6. Shiawase Negau Kanata kara
  7. Tiny Pride
  8. Goldwrap
  9. Vital Sign
  10. KANADE Dance
  11. Surround
  12. Re-Zansho
Encore
  1. Chicago
  2. NOW!!!
  3. Summer Nude
On the second night it was just outrageously hot, and everyone was obviously feeling it. I got the sense that instead of trying to keep cool, the band and the audience both kinda just gave up and accepted that they’d be sweaty and gross anyway, and allowed themselves to rock out to the max.
 
Clammbon’s second night in Tokyo is a special moment of the tour. The band had gotten to sleep in their own homes for the first time in months. They could leave their equipment set up overnight, and didn’t have to worry so much about the sound setup or technical problems. So the feel of the show was more confident, more warmed-up, and more fun. The setlist had a more energetic and playful flow, too, with several pretty intense high points: “Tiny Pride”, “Re-Zansho”, and an ecstatic performance of “Summer Nude”.
 
I was in the very back row this time, allowing me to see the entire crowd and pick out all the most energetic people to relate to. The people around me, too, were more enthusiastic than my neighbors on the first night. This all made it easier for me to get really into the show. Two girls on my left were talking excitedly throughout the night, and spread out into the aisle so that everyone could dance. The guy on my right seemed like a typical suit-wearing salaryman on his own, reserved to the point that I wondered what he was even doing at a rock & roll show. But once the set started, he was as exuberant as anyone in the room, bouncing around and singing along and having the time of his life.
 
During her introduction, Hirayama Yoshiko apologized for playing one of the same songs from the previous night. She polled the audience for who had been there, and quite a few people responded. I had been worried that it might be frowned upon to get tickets to both nights and thus deprive somebody else, but apparently it’s not a big deal. (Besides, I’d waited 13 years for this!)
 
The most memorable banter was during “Desire”, when Ikuko encouraged the crowd to snap along with the beat. The song has a detached 80’s coolness to it, so she coached us in how to snap casually — turn to the side, put on a bored expression, and make your snaps just barely audible. I did my best, and the girls next to me took notice of my technique!
 
When it was done, I thought I might exchange some impressions with some of my neighbors, or at least a knowing, satisfied look. But the girls simply agreed to each other, “I’m full!” and disappeared, while the guy put on his jacket, transformed back into an ordinary salaryman, and scurried out. If I have one major regret about this whole concert experience, it’s that I didn’t get to make any personal connections to anyone. It could be partially because Japanese culture isn’t big on connecting to strangers. It could be partially because Clammbon fans in particular are kinda nerdy and shy. And it could be because I’m a foreigner and thus difficult to approach. In retrospect maybe I should have broken the ice by joining in with the fans who spontaneously started singing “Bass, Bass, Bass” in the merch line.
 
In any case, it was an experience that will stay with me forever, that permanently connects me to my favorite band in an even more meaningful way, and that was well worth the wait.

En subtitles drafted

Hi friends! This project went way faster than the tayu tau subtitling, fueled by my excitement about getting to go see Clammbon in Tokyo this summer. Every scene of En has been subtitled, with just a few difficult lines left unfinished. There are probably bugs and such, but if you are in a hurry to give it a try, here is the file! Let me know if you run into any problems.

En subtitles alpha version

Yomiuri

Rough & Laugh

This was the opening theme for the anime Polar Bear Cafe. The band trying to rehearse this song and become proficient enough to play it live for the first time is an important part of the film En.

Japanese Karaoke English
Rough & Laugh Rough & Laugh Rough & Laugh
からふる ぱられる みらくる みてみる?
おなじ☆にすむ ぼくら わになって わになって おっきな わっかになって
karafuru parareru mirakuru mitemiru
onaji hoshi ni sumu bokura wa ni natte wa ni natte
okkina wakka ni natte
Colorful, parallel, want to see a miracle?
We live on the same planet, we’ll form a ring, form a ring,
We’ll form a great big circle
ね ときどき 遊びにおいでよ
ここはね 時間をわすれちゃうから
ねがいごと ひとりごと しんじること
ポケットにおまじない
ne tokidoki asobi ni oide yo
koko wa ne jikan wo wasurechau kara
negaigoto hitorigoto shinjiru koto
poketto ni omajinai
Hey, come and visit us some time,
Because this is a place where you can lose track of the hours
Your wishes, the things you tell yourself, the things you believe
The lucky charm in your pocket
まっしろい わたげ ふわふわ
手にマグカップ 子供のこえ
masshiroi watage fuwafuwa
te ni magukappu kodomo no koe
Bright white fluffy fur,
A mug in hand, a child’s voice
まわる Rough & Laugh For You まわる Loop & Loop Do You?
あつまって ほどけて わらって 花になる
mawaru rough & laugh for you mawaru loop & loop do you
atusmatte hodokete waratte hana ni naru
Whirling rough & laugh for you, whirling loop & loop do you?
Coming together, coming apart, laughing, and becoming a flower
からふる ぱられる みらくる みてみる?
おなじ☆にすむ ぼくら わになって わになって おっきな わっかになって
karafuru parareru mirakuru mitemiru
onaji hoshi ni sumu bokura wa ni natte wa ni natte
okkina wakka ni natte
Colorful, parallel, want to see a miracle?
We live on the same planet, we’ll form a ring, form a ring,
We’ll form a great big circle
ね みえないサインをおくるよ
どこにいっても ほら キャッチできるから
空のいろ 風のいろ 距離のいろいろ
きかせて キミのこと
ne mienai sain wo okuru yo
doko ni ittemo hora kyacchi dekiru kara
sora no iro kaze no iro kyori no iroiro
kikasete kimi no koto
Hey, I’ll send you an invisible sign
So no matter where you are, you can catch it
The color of the sky, the color of the wind, all kinds of distance
Let me hear all about you
まっしろい シャツ たいよう
にっこり つかまえて はしるメロディ
masshiroi shatsu taiyou
nikkori tsukamaete hashiru merodi
A bright white shirt, the sun
Smiling, catching, the racing melody
ららら Rough & Laugh For You るるる Loop & Loop Do You?
あつまって ほどけて わらって 花になる
rarara rough & laugh for you rururu loop & loop do you
atsumatte hodokete waratte hana ni naru
La la la rough & laugh for you, lu lu lu loop & loop do you?
Coming together, coming apart, laughing, and becoming a flower
からふる ぱられる みらくる みてみる?
おなじ☆にすむ ぼくら わになって わになって おっきな わっかになって
karafuru parareru mirakuru mitemiru
onaji hoshi ni sumu bokura wa ni natte wa ni natte
okkina wakka ni natte
Colorful, parallel, want to see a miracle?
We live on the same planet, we’ll form a ring, form a ring,
We’ll form a great big circle
あたらしいことばで
すべてのおもい 書きだして
遠くから 近くから
あぁ 見守ってるからね いつも
atarashii kotoba de
subete no omoi kakidashite
tooku kara chikaku kara
aa mimamotteru kara ne itsumo
With a new kind of words
Writing down all your hopes
From far and from near
Ah, I’m watching over you always
まわる Rough & Laugh For You まわる Loop & Loop Do You?
だきしめて そっと うたになる
mawaru rough & laugh for you mawaru loop & loop do you
dakishimete sotto uta ni naru
Whirling rough & laugh for you, whirling loop & loop do you?
Hugging, and gently becoming a song
ららら Rough & Laugh For You るるる Loop & Loop Do You?
あつまって ほどけて わらって 花になる
rarara rough & laugh for you rururu loop & loop do you
atsumatte hodokete waratte hana ni naru
La la la rough & laugh for you, lu lu lu loop & loop do you?
Coming together, coming apart, laughing, and becoming a flower
からふる ぱられる みらくる みてみる?
おなじ☆にすむ ぼくら わになって わになって 
わになって わになって おっきな わっかになって
karafuru parareru mirakuru mitemiru
onaji hoshi ni sumu bokura wa ni natte wa ni natte
wa ni natte wa ni natte okkina wakka ni natte
Colorful, parallel, want to see a miracle?
We live on the same planet, we’ll form a ring, form a ring,
Form a ring, form a ring, we’ll form a great big circle

tiny pride

Translating this almost caused me to start crying in a coffee shop. XD

Japanese Karaoke English
tiny pride tiny pride tiny pride
どうにかここまで 君と歩いてきたね
つたない言葉を 一生懸命たぐって
「それは違う」とか 「そうじゃない」とかさんざん言い合ったりして
打ち破ろうとしては 傷をみせあったりしたよね
dou ni ka koko made kimi to aruite kita ne
tsutanai kotoba wo isshoukenmei tagutte
sore wa chigau to ka sou ja nai to ka sanzan iiattari shite
uchiyaburou to shite wa kizu wo miseattari shita yo ne
Somehow you and I have walked this far
Dragging our clumsy words along
We’ve told each other harshly, “that’s wrong”, “that’s not it”
And we showed each other our wounds so as to wound, didn’t we
いつまでもそうなんだろうね
信じれば信じるほどに
ほつれてゆくはかない優しさ
それが僕らのプライド(We have a tiny pride…)
itsu made mo sou nan darou ne
shinjireba shinjiru hodo ni
hotsurete yuku hakanai yasashisa
sore ga bokura no puraido (we have a tiny pride)
I suppose it’ll always be that way
The more we trust one another
Fragile kindness frays and comes apart
That’s our pride (We have a tiny pride…)
出会いも別れも少しずつ分け与えて
ふるいことあたらしいことお互いに持ち寄って
「これは僕、それは君」って
なんでもかんでも線を弾きたがって
取られるのが怖くて君に隠したりもした
deai mo wakare mo sukoshi zutsu wakeataete
furui koto atarashii koto otagai ni mochiyotte
kore wa boku sore wa kimitee
nandemo kandemo sen wo hikitagatte
torareru no ga kowakute kimi ni kakushitari mo shita
As we hand out meetings and separations
As we exchange things old and new
“This is me, and that’s you”
We feel the need to draw that line
Afraid of them being taken away, I hid some things from you
僕たちはまだお互いを
信じることもままならないさ
でもここまで感じてきたぬくもり
それが僕らのプライド(We have a tiny pride…)
bokutachi wa mada otagai wo
shinjiru koto mo mamanaranai sa
demo koko made kanjite kita nukumori
sore ga bokura no puraido (we have a tiny pride)
You and I still
Can’t trust one another the way we’d like
Yet the warmth we’ve felt thus far
That’s our pride (We have a tiny pride…)
ふたりの願いは一つ
このまま歩き続けたいだけ
けれどいつでも忘れがちだから
確かめるように傷つけ合う
futari no negai wo hitotsu
kono mama aruki tsudzuketai dake
keredo itsudemo wasuregachi dakara
tashikameru you ni kizu tsukeau
The two of us have one wish
Just to continue walking like this
But as we are always so forgetful
As if to remind ourselves, we hurt one another
欲しいものなんて大したものじゃなくて
かすかに感じるその優しさ
そして確かに覚えているぬくもり
抱きしめていたい
hoshii mono nante taishita mono ja nakute
kasuka ni kanjiru sono yasashisa
soshite tashika ni oboeteiru nukumori
dakishimeteitai
What I want isn’t much
To feel the slightest kindness
And a warmth I can remember clearly
I want to be held
また明日僕らは出会い
同じ過ちをまた繰り返して
消えることない不安を抱える
でもそれこそプライド(We have a tiny pride…)
僕らのプライド…これが僕らのプライド
mata ashita bokura wa deai
onaji ayamachi wo mata kurikaeshite
kieru koto nai fuan wo kakaeru
demo sore koso puraido (we have a tiny pride)
bokura no puraido, kore ga bokura no puraido
We will meet again tomorrow
We’ll repeat the same mistakes
Carrying those indelible worries
But that itself is our pride (We have a tiny pride…)
Our pride… This is our pride

Ahoj!

Here is a song that was written as the theme for an animated series from the Czech Republic. The title is the Czech word for hello. You would think the other unrecognizable words in the song are also Czech, but they actually appear to be completely made up.

Japanese Karaoke English
アホイ! ahoi! Ahoj!
ピヨヨヨ ひらめいた ともだちになろう
たのしくやれるさ きみとなら
piyoyoyo hirameita tomodachi ni narou
tanoshiku yareru sa kimi to nara
Cheep cheep, he bounced, let’s be friends
It’ll be fun with you
ガルルル とびだした どこへでもゆこう
ねがいはかなうさ ぼくら
garururu tobidashita doko e demo yukou
negai wa kanau sa bokura
Roar roar, out they fly, let’s go
Our wishes will be granted
ちいさいカラダは もう じっとしちゃいられない chiisai karada wa mou jitto shichairarenai He can’t keep his little body still
ライララ ライララ ライララ ライララ
ライララ ライララ ライララ ライララ
rairara rairara rairara rairara
rairara rairara rairara rairara
Lailala…
ギラララ おひさま かぜもよんでいるよ
フウリンソウにアホイ! ごあいさつ
girarara ohisama kaze mo yondeiru yo
fuurinsou ni ahoi goaisatsu
Shine shine, goes the sun, the wind is calling too
Greet the bellflower, say *ahoj*
ビブヴバァーン ほしいな
ポロロンピューウ したいな
くものうえにだって のりたいな
bibuvubaan hoshii na
pororonpyuu shitai na
kumo no ue ni datto noritai na
I want a bibuvubaan
I want to pororonpyuu
I even want to ride on a cloud
カラカサタケをつかって そらとぶかさをつくろう karakasatake wo tsukatte sora tobu kasa wo tsukurou Let’s use a parasol mushroom to fly in the sky
ライララ ライララ ライララ ライララ
ライララ ライララ ライララ ライララ
rairara rairara rairara rairara
rairara rairara rairara rairara
Lailala…
Sunny sanii Sunny
ライララ ライララ ライララ ライララ
ライララ ライララ ライララ ライララ
rairara rairara rairara rairara
rairara rairara rairara rairara
Lailala…
なにがまっているの? どんなゆめみよう?
そらはとおくひろいよ どこまでも
nani ga matteiru no donna yume miyou
sora wa tooku hiroi yo doko made mo
What’s awaiting us? What kind of dream shall we have?
The sky is far and great, so very far

Hanakaoru Aru Hi

Japanese Karaoke English
華香るある日 Hanakaoru Aru Hi One Flower-Scented Day
華香る日差しに 胸躍らせながら
玉虫色の光あびて ふとくちずさむ
なつかしいうたを
hanakaoru hizashi ni mune odorasenagara
tamamushiiro no hikari abite futo kuchizusamu
natsukashii uta wo
In flower-scented rays of sunlight, with my heart racing,
Soaking in the iridescent light, I found myself humming
An old song
歩いてゆくのは 見慣れたはずの景色
はずむこころ おさえながら
いつかの部屋へ
aruite yuku no wa minareta hazu no keshiki
hazumu kokoro osaenagara
itsuka no heya e
The scenery I walked through, should have been familiar
Containing my pounding heart
Toward the someday room
はなやいだ あさがお咲きはじめ
まあっかな顔して 笑ってるよ
また会えるなら その時は何を話そう?
hanayaida asagao sakihajime
maakka na kao shite waratteru yo
mata aeru nara sono toki wa nani wo hanasou?
The morning-glory begins to bloom brilliantly
Laughing until red in the face
If we can meet again, what shall we talk about?
ゆるやかな坂を いくつものぼっておりて
通りすぎたにおいに
ふと
立ちどまったなら
手をたたこう
yuruyaka na saka wo ikutsu mo nobotte orite
toorisugita nioi ni
futo
tachidomatta nara
te wo tatakou
Climbing up and down so many rolling hills
If I pass by an aroma and
Find myself
Stopping,
I’ll clap my hands
若葉がほころび たちまち豊かになって
いつのまにか こぼれたものも
こんな風になら 思い出せるね
wakaba ga hokorobi tachimachi yutaka ni natte
itsu no ma ni ka koboreta mono mo
konna fuu ni nara omoidaseru ne
The young leaves are opening up, becoming abundant all at once
The things that unexpectedly spilled out
This is how they can be remembered
時間と時間が つながって
すきまだって 少しずつうまってゆくよ
また会えるなら 今日は何して遊ぼう?
jikan to jikan ga tsunagatte
sukima datte sukoshi zutsu umatte yuku yo
mata aeru nara kyou wa nani shite asobou?
One time and another time are connected
The spaces in between are filled up bit by bit
If we can meet again, how shall we play today?
魚の群れが 横切って
誰でも どこかへながれてく
また会えるなら 今夜は何をうたう?
あなたと 世界の全てを見ましょう
sakana no mure ga yokogitte
daredemo dokoka e nagareteku
mata aeru nara konya nani wo utau?
anata to sekai no subete wo mimashou
A school of fish passes by
Everyone is washed away somewhere
If we can meet again, what shall we sing tonight?
With you, I’ll see the whole of the world

no one really cares

Japanese Karaoke English
no one really cares
no one really cares
about your losing days
no one really cares
about what you really love
no one really cares
the world you’re trustin’ in
no one really cares
the resolution that you took
no one really cares
as long as you don’t tell it
no one really cares
as long as you don’t confess
i know there are a lot of things you should tell
i know each and every one is your arms
no one really cares
as long as you don’t want it
no one really cares
as long as you don’t get it
and i know there’s a wish you’ll realize
i know each and every one is your arms
no one really cares
about pain that you should stand
no one really cares
about your real tenderness
no one really cares
as long as you don’t tell it
no one really cares
as long as you don’t confess
i know there are a lot of things you should tell
i know each and every one is your arms
no one really cares
there’s nothing else to say

En subtitling status report

I am about 50% done subtitling En, the second Clammbon documentary! It’s so very fun to watch the band interact, rehearse, and dream up new versions of our old favorite songs.

En preview 2

Excitement about going to two concerts this August is propelling me forward. There was actually another Tokyo show announced, at this bizare-looking joint, but it’s for the day after I leave! Oh well, I certainly can’t complain that I only get to see two shows.

Aru Kodou

This song was written in the aftermath of the Tôhoku Earthquake of March 11, 2011. Like many songs written at that time, it seems to be acknowledging the terrible losses while also encouraging Japan to be strong and carry on. The main lyric “the beat that is here” seems to refer to the pulse of Japan itself and everyone who lives there. When this song is played live, the band invites the audience to contribute to the rhythm by stomping their feet and clapping their hands, as if to manifest that shared pulse.

Japanese Karaoke English
ある鼓動 Aru Kodou A Certain Beat
水辺に咲いた 花をたむけて
つよくつよく うなづいてゆくの
mizube ni saita hana wo tamukete
tsuyoku tsuyoku unadzuite yuku no
Offering up flowers from the waterside in memory
I bow my head vigorously
止まった時が そっと動いて
とじる心 のせてゆくの
tomatta toki ga sotto ugoite
tojiru kokoro nosete yuku no
The time that had stopped begins gently to move
I place my closed heart upon it
両手ひろげて good groovin’
まわれ まわれよ good groovin’
内なるリズムは ここに ある鼓動
ryoute hirogete guddo guruubin
maware maware yo guddo guruubin
uchinaru rizumu wa koko ni aru kodou
Spreading both hands wide, good groovin’
Spin, spin around, good groovin’
That inner rhythm is the beat that is here
ひとつひとつ
受け入れて
どうにか今を
過ごしてる あぁ
hitotsu hitotsu
ukeirete
dou ni ka ima wo
sugoshiteru aa
One thing at a time
I accept
Somehow in this moment
I am living, ah
最果ての地で 種をまくひと
健やかな日を 遠く願うひと
saihate no chi de tane wo maku hito
sukoyaka na hi wo tooku negau hito
Those who sow seeds in the most distant lands
Those who wish from afar for thriving days
両手ひろげて good groovin’
まわれ まわれよ good groovin’
内なるリズムは ここにある
ryoute hirogete guddo guruubin
maware maware yo guddo guruubin
uchinaru rizumu wa koko ni aru kodou
Spreading both hands wide, good groovin’
Spin, spin around, good groovin’
That inner rhythm is the beat that is here
光が降り注ぐように
ささやかな営みが
とぎれることなく
つづくように
hikari ga oritsugu you ni
sasayaka na itonami ga
togireru koto naku
tsudzuku you ni
So that light may pour down
So that these humble lives may,
Without pause,
Continue
両手ひろげて good groovin’
まわれ まわれよ good groovin’
内なるリズムは ここに ある鼓動
ryoute hirogete guddo guruubin
maware maware yo guddo guruubin
uchinaru rizumu wa koko ni aru kodou
Spreading both hands wide, good groovin’
Spin, spin around, good groovin’
That inner rhythm is the beat that is here

Asakusa ticket GET!!

Update: Even more against all odds, I also won the Hot Stuff Promotion lottery via Pia for the Friday show, so I am going to see Clammbon at Asakusa two nights in a row!! My heart and my brain just about can’t take it.

Somehow, against all odds, I secured a ticket to the August 29 show at Kaminari 5656 Kaikan in Asakusa, Tokyo. It’s a tiny, cozy 325-seat venue, and I’ll be sitting in the 7th row, right about where this photo was taken:

5 6F

My first real Clammbon show, after 13 years of being a fan, and 10 years of running this site. I’m about as happy as I’ve ever been about anything. It’s making me want to finally write down how I got into the band and what it’s been like to follow them from afar for all this time.

In between work and finishing grad school, I have started funneling some of that excitement into subtitling En. There is quite a lot of casual mumbling between longtime friends, captured from just outside easy earshot, so it will be a challenge. Many scenes seem to be meant not to expose the content of conversations, but simply to portray relationships. I am committed to translating and timing as much of it as I can make out!

En preview

Livestream report and new release impressions

Tuesday at 20:00 Japan time (4:00 Pacific time), Clammbon appeared on Nico Video for their live performance and interview. I dragged myself out of bed, of course, to join in the audience of 40,000. After an hour of classic Clammbon music videos, the band appeared and the performance began. It was tremendous fun to be a part of the enthusiastic crowd scrolling their messages across the screen about everything from their own Clammbon memories to what kind of beverages they were enjoying.

The band played three songs, interspersed with interview segments: U&I by Houkago Teatime, Shiawase Negau Kanata Kara by Izumi Kanata, and… a third song that I can’t remember because it was five in the dang morning! The video for Shiawase Negau Kanata Kara was also shown. (Prepare to weep if you haven’t seen it yet.)

The interview discussed how the band decided to do another cover album, how they chose the songs, and the story behind the new documentary En. It was pretty excellent to watch the band react to the flood of comments, especially the “8888888888”s that represent applause on Nico Video.

Particularly interesting were the conversations with guests related to Shiawase Negau Kanata Kara, the lead song for Lover Album 2. Yukisada Isao, the director of the video, met Mito via Facebook when they both realized they were big fans of each other. Kousaki Satoru, a well-regarded anime composer responsible for the Lucky Star music, discussed how he and Mito geek out together about anime and comics (including my own beloved Five Star Stories!)

Performance
Interview

I’ve had a couple of days to listen to Lover Album 2, and it is shaping up to be just as charming and genuine a love letter to music as the first. I particularly appreciate the energy of Lady Madonna and Desire.

Tonight I got a chance to watch En, and it’s a marvelously joyful document of the band’s adventures putting together two very special shows. The film interweaves footage from rehearsals at the studio in Kobuchizawa, where they dreamt up unique new arrangements for songs, and the two-night acoustic and electric sets at Yomiuri Land. The finale is one of the happiest, most gratifying scenes of Clammbon footage ever shot. Subtitling all the mumbly studio talk is going to be a huge challenge, but I intend to give it my best just like I did for Tayu Tau.

Meanwhile, I am doing my best to secure tickets to one of the two Clammbon shows at the tiny, 325-seat 5656 Kaikan in Asakusa, Tokyo this August. The lottery system used for ticket sales is stressful and frustrating, especially when you are trying to plan international travel around concerts! My father-in-law has been calling around to try to find me some tickets, and the folks at Hot Stuff told him it shouldn’t be too hard to get ahold of some via the lotteries — I find that hard to believe considering there are only 650 seats to go around for the entire Clammbon fandom of Tokyo. I am now signed up for several different mailing lists in order to try as many lotteries as I can. If those all fail, there’s always rushing to click faster than everyone else in the general sale, and then there’s always Yahoo Auctions. What a Byzantine system.

En.

cover art

includes performances at Yomiuri Land in September 2012 and rehearsals at none to cat studio
subtitles available

  1. Ana no Naka (Acoustic sound)
  2. Chicago (Band sound)
  3. Hanare Banare (Acoustic sound)
  4. Long Song (none to cat)
  5. Surround (none to cat)
  6. Lullabye Sarabai (Acoustic sound)
  7. id (Acoustic sound)
  8. no one really cares (Acoustic sound)
  9. Vital Sign (Band sound)
  10. Ahoj! (Band sound)
  11. tiny pride (Acoustic sound)
  12. KANADE Dance (Band sound)
  13. Rough & Laugh (Band sound)
  14. Folklore (Acoustic sound)
  15. Aru Kodou (Band sound)

LOVER ALBUM 2

cover art
  1. Yobigoe (originally by Kuuki Koudan)
  2. GOLDWRAP (originally by e.s.t. [Esbjörn Svensson Trio])
  3. NOTHING BRINGS ME DOWN (originally by Emiliana Torrini)
  4. U&I (originally by Houkago Teatime)
  5. The Postman (originally by The american analog set)
  6. DESIRE -Jounetsu- (originally by Nakamori Akina)
  7. Joutai no Highway (originally by TOKYO No.1 SOUL SET)
  8. Lady Madonna (originally by The Beatles)
  9. O Caroline (originally by MATCHING MOLE)
  10. Giyaman (originally by Nanao Tavito)
  11. Nanimo Iwanaide (Kako to Katsumi version, originally by The Happenings Four)
  12. Kumo no Ibiki (originally by HUSKING BEE)
  13. Shiawase Negau Kanata kara (originally by Izumi Kanata)
  14. I’M GETTING READY (originally by Michael Kiwanuka)
  15. FOUR IN THE MORNING (originally by LITTLE CREATURES)

Niconico Events; Lover Album 2 previews

Another big update at the official Clammbon site today. There are to be two special Clammbon events on the video site Niconico Douga!

On May 18, 21:00-25:00 Japan time (got to love that Japanese time notation) will be the Yomiuri Land concert from 2010 and the Kokugikan show from 2011, followed by the debut of the music video for “Shiawase Negau Kanata kara”, directed by Yukisada Isao.

On May 21, 20:00-23:00 will be a live performance and talk show! It sounds like it is going to be a pretty special program so if you can make it, be sure to tune in! The whole live show system seems quite complex, though, with reserved “seating” and priority given to premium members. I will probably buy a premium account so I can re-watch the event for a week and hopefully find a way to record it, but posting it for you would be very much against the rules. Perhaps Clammbon will decide to sell the video in some other form, like other musicians have done with their Niconico shows.

Lastly, 44-second previews of every song on Lover Album 2 are now available in two archaic formats at the Columbia Clammbon page. The Windows Media samples do seem to work fine if you paste their addresses into VLC’s “Open Network” command.